Keralim and Angelкод для вставки
Keralim and Angel, by Angela Arama, translated by Andrei Onea
KERALIM AND ANGEL BY ANGELA ARAMĂ translated by Andrei Onea 1. Words - What a strange name! Keralim used to hear those words almost every time she uttered her name to get introduced to some strangers. - Hello. I am Cristina. Nice to meet you. - Hello. My name is Keralim. Pleasure. This was followed by an obvious "what a strange name", pronounced with a certain lifting of eyebrows. First, Keralim believed this sentence is a part of the ritual presentations and is a sign of good manners, so that she dutifully smiled and ran to her mother, who didn’t delay to comfort and kiss her head. In fact, the little girl did not understand why she has to get introduced to others when there is a being in the world so close and completely hers as her mother. Her mother was enough. She brings her food when she is hungry, gives her a glass of water, juice or milk when she is thirsty and sings upon her sleep every night. But most of all Keralim loved walking with her mother. She held tight her hand and put tens and hundreds of questions that, unlike other children, were mostly answered by herself. Keralim was a smart kid. She had many questions in head that were answered also there. What she did not understand was how such a small head (as a ball with the red dots that neighbours’ boy was always throwing over the fence) fits so many words. Keralim uttered thousands of words a day! Mom told her they all come out of the head. Head thinks them over, and moth utters them. When the head thinks, the one is considered smart, intelligent. Keralim had no idea that it is just brain that is thinking, that’s why she didn’t want to cut even a little of her brown curls. She felt that most words are hidden in the hair tress. If she stretched a crimp, it became long enough to house a bunch of words. The girl believed they are hanging on hair as drying clothes. In a great secrecy Keralim suffered for cut-short girls and did not understand at all why their mothers have "befooled" them, that is cut their hair. How many words are swept and trashed in hairdresser’ shops around the world! My, my, my! 2. Moon By night Keralim went to sleep in her room. She didn’t always fell asleep after her mother sang. Sometimes at night, when black shadows flooded the room and scared her, Keralim looked out trough the window. At first she thought that Moon is a pie with fireflies stick to the sky vault. A magic pie! Otherwise, how to explain that, although someone eats it every night, it grows back surprisingly quickly? Keralim knew from her own experience that no other pie, once bitten, would grow back, even if whispered "Abracadabra!" It was not just once that Keralim snuck to the kitchen and ate a piece of each pie made on the eve by her mother. She didn’t have to rise from bed in the morning to realize that the pies have not grown back overnight. She heard her father rebuking the mother for "allowing the girl to make whatever she wants!" Only later she learned that Moon is a more serious "thing" and that in reality it’s absolutely different from how people see it from here, on Earth. Moon is rather a large glass globe that has lost its Christmas tree. When it is cold, the globe wraps and vice versa – it unwraps when it is hot. One night Keralim tried to throw her blanket over the window. She threw it up as strong as she could, but the villain preferred to slide down and fell over the pup in the yard who has not hesitated to announce this event to entire neighbourhood. Since then Keralim is mad at Dixie, the responsible dog, and puts out tongue whenever he welcomes her by shaking the tail. And also since then, Keralim understood what she wants to be when grow up. Better to say - who. When she will be big she will be Santa Claus and find the tree from which the Moon "fell up". She will hang the globe back and install the tree in her yard for her mother to enjoy. Then she will bake a thousand pies with various stuffing and put them under the tree. So that father will never rebuke the mother ever again. 3. Rainbow However, until then, that is until she is big enough to be Santa Claus, Keralim was content with what she had. And she had so much! Mother, Dixie, the room, Moon, words and even more – all belonged to her. These include the rainbow too. Keralim did not confide to anyone but she knew for sure that when it rains, someone cries. Obviously the one must be a giant with his head far above the clouds, otherwise where else would so many tears would come from! Interesting, but unlike human tears, those fallen from the sky were not salty - Keralim tasted them licking her wet hands after she slipped them out of umbrella, so that her mother wouldn’t notice. What Keralim was trying to understand was the reason why the giant cried so often. The girl was really afraid that if he further feels sorrow, the rivers of tears will drown the yard, the city’s streets and may be even the field of red poppies in her colouring book. That would be really overmuch! The water from the field would have passed from book on the table, from table on the carpet, and then certainly would have slipped through the cracks in the floor to the place where Keralim held her treasure. We must say that every normal kid has a treasure that is cherished like eyes. Some girls even lock their private journals with a small padlock and keep the key in the hollow of a tree, in the boot or in the box of hair clasps. Keralim had not a private journal, but under removable floor board she kept a box of secrets. One of the hidden items over there was the rainbow. Rather, it was the magic wand out of which it was generated whenever needed. When it starts raining, Keralim was taking the wand, flutter it above a white sheet, then draw a rainbow on it, again waving the wand over and stick the sheet to the window with a scotch tape. The giant sees the rainbow and stops crying. Probably he realized, he is not alone in this world. Well, it's true, sometimes when the weeper’s sorrow is too much, she draws more rainbows. However, the process works every time and the rain stops even if in the meanwhile the window runs out of free spots. If more children would stick rainbows on their windows when it rains, their secrets and treasures would remain intact until the great age. 4. Whale Speaking of water. The underwater world of our little girl weighed a lot, much more than she weighs. It had seventy litters and fit in an artificial lighted aquarium. A gold fish and two black crucians were swimming in this world. They never sleep because nobody taught them how to close eyes. Keralim forbade them to drink coffee, hoping that eventually the fishes will be sleepy and then they will know what it means to dream. When Keralim was smaller she believed the night is a black whale that swallows people. She was afraid of it and therefore she could not fall asleep without mom’s song. But once it happened so that the whale came to Keralim in dream. The little girl mastered the courage and spoke to it, although she did not understand how she sees this monster in front, while being in its stomach. "Hi, I am Keralim and please allow me to ask you some questions." "Hi, I am the whale Mauveleta." - Replied the whale with a voice like a thunder in a summer rain. After a rather long break Keralim continues: "Why you don’t tell me that I have a strange name? Everyone says this!" "Well, it doesn’t seem strange to me, since it has so many vowels. It can be sung easily, so it is a beautiful name. Like mine, by the way." And the whale sang deafening: "With Keralim, the girl, We laugh and we rejoice! By sunrise I will leave, Boom-bam-bim-bi-rim Bye! So long!" Stopping her ears, Keralim thought this will awaken the whole house, so she begged to pipe down. The whale turned two times smaller and resumed singing, tapping rhythm with the tail. "With Keralim, the girl, We laugh and we rejoice! By sunrise I will leave, Boom-bam-bim-bi-rim Bye! So long!" And over again the whale turned small exactly like a fish in the girl’s aquarium, and she eventually asked: "But why your name is Mauveleta?" "First sing something." - Replied the whale with a voice as thin as moustache of a mouse. Keralim thought a little bit and quenched: "Mauveleta, the whale, Rides on the wheel. The wind swirls curly hair, Boom-bam-bim-bi-rim Bye! So long!" After they laughed to the full, Keralim surprisingly noted that whale wasn’t black! In fact, that night the little girl discovered two very important things: one the oceans are waving because on their bottom the whales are cycling, two - if you talk to someone you are scared of, it shrinks and turns from black into mauve, that is violet, which is mauvelet. 5. Dove Once, when each home-folk left in one’s own way, Keralim felt so alone that she started to cry. Shortly, she managed a full-scale weeping. It’s so easy to feel sad if you want. For example, to this end it is enough to imagine that mother, Moon and Mauveleta went on a trip around the world or to buy costumes for masquerade prom, and you have been not taken because they don’t love you. Little by little, the full sadness of the girl grew up to the ceiling and balked in the luster with orange butterflies. Butterflies started being agitated, flattening on ceiling in searching for the way out of the space supersaturated with sadness. Keralim recalled that tears of the giant that brings rain are void of taste. She tasted her own with tongue. They were salty! Keeping crying and lamenting the little girl got to look occasionally in the mirror to see if with tears the eyelids are being left by little fishes, shells, seaweed and other marine wonders. Time was going by. All of a sudden, she heard a light knock on the glass pane. Who could this be? The girl approached the window on fingertips and hid beyond the curtain. Soon the knocks repeated. Oh, that was a white dove restlessly walking on window sill. The bird was so beautiful, that tears standing to run stopped and crowded, also willing to admire it in all its magnificence. Butterflies have returned in a blink of eye on the luster and got hidden, waiting. Sweeping eyes over the room to see if the mess isn’t too big to receive an honourable guest, Keralim opened the window. Along with the dove, dozens of outside sounds rushed into the room. As if all creatures from this place made an arrangement to speak to Keralim at the same time. Sparrows, dogs, cats, bees, geese, goats and even the neighbours’ boy, who dropped again his ball with red dots over the fence – all they rushed to greet the girl, sending her messages through their winged messenger. Dove landed on small table near the bowl with candies and winkled: "Look who has come to you." Oh, the sun's rays perched on the sofa ornamenting with tinsel the silky pillows! Their light levelled the creases on quilt with blue stars and on the girl’s forehead so tired of crying. In a clap Keralim, as a hospitable host, started to run back and forth now with biscuits and coffee, then with all sorts of jokes and conversation about the health of close relatives of the Sun - Mars, Venus, Saturn, Sirius and others. They even chuckled at Moon, who courts the Earth and due to so much love got bemused and fell from the tree. When mother returned from town, Keralim fell on her neck, embracing her tight-tight and said: - I love you much, mom, you are the most precious in the world! Forgive me, please... - For what? – her mother wondered. - For I thought you left me alone. Mother kept silent and was inwardly glad that she has such a big girl. To be happy, sometimes it is just enough to open a window, but not everyone knows that. 6. Ladder Only the next morning Keralim noted that red dot ball stayed overnight in their yard. She has run downstairs outside. - Hi, neighbour, could you give me the ball? Keralim was not in a hurry, so that the boy had to wait very patiently for the answer. The girl smoothed a curl, then look through it to the sun’s rays, smiling to them. - Don’t you find that the plane in the sky very much resembles with a dragonfly? Actually, the neighbours’ boy wasn’t in a hurry either, so that he scratched the crown, then he rubbed with his fist the left nostril... When he finished with arranging the socks under the knees full of bruises, he said: - Curious, but the belly of the airplane in the sky fits hundreds of people. I saw it on TV. But what about the belly of a dragonfly? - I don’t fit! - Keralim shook the curls. - I don’t either! - the boy agreed. – So, we can’t fly with dragonfly... - It’s not necessarily to fly if one wishes to get up. You may climb the ladder. - The ladder? - Yeah! We have a wooden ladder leaned on the wall behind the house... Do you have courage to climb on the roof? The ball, flashing with red dots, understood that it will linger for some time in the round with flowers. "Hmm, that ladder has no dots or even plaid. It has just splinters, like a rose with thorns." - it said, offended. "You’ll get pricked and you’ll come back to me. But it will be too late, you will find nothing but a poor patch in the grass. For I will be-sulky, be-sulky, be-sulky... until I explode with anger. I will see then whom you will play with!" Meanwhile, the boy jumped the fence, grabbed the Keralim’s hand and they were taken away. Hoo-oo, if you stay crying for mercy to all sulky ones and are afraid of the thorns, you will no longer climb the ladder! And you won’t get seeing the world as from the dragonfly’s belly. Sorry, from the airplane’s belly. 7. Phantom Of course, after climbing on the roof, Keralim and Corio (that was the name of the neighbour’s boy) have not hesitated to make a stopover in the attic. Once getting there, they started to whisper. In the semidarkness the words were afraid of voice. - Have you ever seen a ghost? – Corio asked. It’s well-known, boys do not grow up unless they scare a girl at least once in their life. - No, but they say that they sleep in the a-a-attics… - Keralim imitates a ghost, raising hands with fingers scattered over the boy's head who was sitting on hunkers. The spider-webs shattered between beams, and Corio, taken by surprise, fell back, raising a yellow cloudlet dust. That's good, who scares whom? - Do you want to search for them? – the girl didn’t come to anchor. Although the boy’s stomach hanged over the spine trembling as a rod, Corio nod assent: "Yeah." They had to start somewhere, but that was just the hardest. There were so many boxes and sheaves under the roof! However, they decided first to open the biggest box – it was filled with "junk", as adult use to call them, all sorts of extremely useful things. There was a pan without handle that would serve as a great pool for sparrows; a couple of deep saucepans, in which Keralim’s dolls could take a bath; some candlesticks with scrap candles; a pair of glasses with one lens, still very necessary for studying insects; a scratched but functional binoculars: it helps to see even the hollow in the tree on the hill where squirrels hide their nuts for winter... In short, when they got to look at each other, children burst into laughter. They were dirty like doughnuts rolled over dark sugar-powder, as that obtained from the cane. Time went by unnoticed, but children didn’t meet any ghost yet, though one by one they opened all packages, boxes and rolls tied with a string on sack. However, at some point, just below the almost naked tiles close to eaves, among rummage and old sheets, they discovered a place full of mystery and... white feathers. It was a shelter. The slightly spicy smell and still persistent warmth made it clear that someone just left the makeshift cot. Oh, they missed the great discovery! The phantom just ran away under their nose. The disappointment was so great that Corio has severely berated: "Three horned kids!" He spat as a fullgrown man and expelled the grievance with all air from lungs. Hu-u-u-u! Keralim didn’t rush to comment. She fastened her lips in a cute cone and shook locks to awaken the words. They didn’t delay to get cracking. So the girl said: - Hmm, we would never have a chance to see the ghost at this hour. - Well, don’t you see we’ve been about to catch one?! - I see just some feathers. Do the ghosts have feathers? - No... - Then what? Corio feel that he was about to find out the mystery of his life, a secret as big as the universe with all the planes and dragonflies in one place. He was so tense that his ears got red, and cheeks got hot so that one could cook the morning omelette on them. - Then what? - Keralim beastly repeated. - Then what? - Well, look, I thought a little bit and I must say... you're right. Ghosts have feathers. Probably in the morning they turn into white doves and are hiding under the eaves to rest. Therefore, I repeat, at this hour we would see, at best, a dove scared from sleeping. To appear more scholarly, Corio put his finger in the nose, rummaged there and agreed: Yeah. Through the attic’s door one may observe a part of his yard, where a cackling greyish-white hen was walking around. Who knows what it turns into when no one sees it! For how one can be first an egg and over the night – a chicken? "Nothing is what it seems", Corio sighed. - Yes, - Keralim confirmed, - I am actually a princess sometimes, didn’t you know? You, who are you? 8. Star Dust Well, Corio knew very well who is he really, but did not dare to tell his neighbour so as to avoid mockery. How to prove to a girl that you're a Marshal, if you don’t have epaulets and have won just the wars which are not mentioned in the books for adults? But Corio's mother was a real district police officer and, being also a very nice neighbour, she was coming sometimes to drink a coffee and chat with our girl’s mother. Sometimes women were whispering and Keralim in vain endeavoured to hear their secrets, though she knew it’s not nice at all to eavesdrop on discussions of adults. "How great would it be if I would have been born kettle! With an ear as an elephant's trunk, the kettle can hear all the words and no one even thinks to usher it out.” Following such a discussion between two women, Keralim put one of global questions of her existence. What is the soul all about? At first, Keralim thought the "soul" is a blue jacket tied at the chest with some multicoloured threads. Precisely there Corio's mother pressed her palms when she sighed: "My soul bleeds for her, poor..." But a jacket can’t bleed, the curls trembled! Aha, so it’s something under the jacket. The shirt with porcelain buttons? But even the shirt doesn’t bleed either... Hmm, Keralim understood she won’t manage alone with the answer, and she barely resisted until the neighbour left, pitched over her mother: "Where is the so-o-o-ul, I can’t find it?!!" Mom didn’t answer, just smiled and ... sent her to bed. "It’s better to find out the soul in the morning, with the first song of birds and virgin spring water, baby. Good night now!" Well, yeah, how to fall asleep when you know for sure where is your mouth, eyes, stomach, knees and soles, but have no idea where is your soul? That night Keralim had a terrible insomnia, of about a quarter of an hour! She fell asleep squeezing the coverlet at the breast – somewhere there her baby soul could be cold in a May night. By morning the little girl opened her eyes and immediately sneezed because of a sundog that was perched on her nose. Mom sat on the edge of her cot, watching her. "Come on, wake up, Keralim, it's time to show you where the soul is". Keralim jumped out of bed and made big eyes. Wow! Her room was full of strange light through which thousands of gold particles were floating. When mother raised, they got a fright, and started to float through the air in iridescent rings. "Do not be scared, it is the star dust that leaves our wings whenever we shake them. I shake them every morning, try it too!" Keralim stiffened with astonishment that overnight she turned into bird and moved suspiciously the shoulder blades. Left, right, left right... Nothing happened, so that she waved the hands as she would fly up. Up, down, up, down! Suddenly, a light jingle was heard as if thousands Christmas bells would be awakened there, far away in Lapland. In the mirror of her mother’s eyes Keralim saw what happened. Other glittering clusters were whirling behind her and rose up to the dizzy ceiling. "Mammy, you know, by day the ghosts turn into doves", the girl whispered. "I also turned into ghost... or what?" - My darling, actually, you have turned into nothing but yourself. - It means... I am... - You are an angel, Keralim. All people are angels, just that not all get to understand this. - Oho! Mammy, but ... Corio? - Corio too. But it’s more difficult for boys to believe in such things, therefore this will be our secret, OK? Later mom told her about the kingdom of angels. About their travels in space and time in various appearances. About the star dust they always take with them when they descend to earth in man’s appearance (it conglomerates as a bag around the heart and is called the soul, you can see it only when really believe you have angel’s wings and shake them). About the people who waste this precious dust because they can’t love and their heart turns into stone. About the pain one feels when the bag compresses itself to protect the heart when something painful happens. About the fact that they - Keralim and her mother - will never separate because whatever happens they will meet in heaven. And from there, from the kingdom of angels, the world is seen differently than from Earth. It is mu-u-u-uch larger and more colourful and brighter, because there the angels know they are angels and shake their wings not only in the morning.